Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission Announces Summer Travel News

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Santa Barbara offers travelers a dose of the iconic California lifestyle with family-friendly attractions, distinctly local culture, diverse accommodations and a vibrant food and wine scene.

The Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission announces summer travel news, including family vacation ideas, cultural happenings and hotel and restaurant openings. Located just 90 miles north of Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is a world apart, and offers a soothing realm of distinct and subtle pleasures, and an intoxicating appeal that arises from the convergence of elements found perhaps nowhere else in the world. A city of white-washed buildings with red tile roofs tucked between the mountains and the sea, laid back Santa Barbara resonates with an irresistibly sensuous allure.

The American Riviera offers families an abundance of summertime fun. The close proximity and manageable size of Santa Barbara’s attractions — from the Santa Barbara Zoo and the Maritime Museum to the Ty Warner Sea Center and Museum of Art — make touring and exploring with kids in tow an easy-going experience. Active families can bond while biking along the scenic waterfront, taking surf lessons, kayaking along the coast, hiking through nature preserves and whale watching near the Channel Islands. And a variety of summer day camps and special hotel programs for kids create "alone time" for parents seeking R&R. Visit for family travel resources and tips.

Savor long summer nights and live like the locals by delving into Santa Barbara’s summertime traditions old and new including the weekly Concerts in the Park series, Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s monthly “Nights” event, the Courthouse Jazz Series, Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts’ professional productions and Shakespeare Santa Barbara’s alfresco performances.

Made in Hollywood: Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation will be on exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art July 12 through October 12, 2008. Drawn from the rich archive at the John Kobal Foundation in London, this exhibition focuses on the stars, the sets and the scenes created by the film industry and memorialized by the most important photographers who worked in Hollywood from 1920-1960.

Visit the calendar of events on for detailed information on events, festivals and cultural happenings.

Hotel Oceana, a 122-room beachfront boutique hotel, completes its renovation in July 2008 and will feature simple, clean walls, inspired by the traditional white adobe style of Santa Barbara, new hardwood floors evoking the region’s old world charm throughout the guest rooms, the addition of high-definition flat screen LCD TVs and all new furnishings and accessories.

The Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club is scheduled to re-open in July 2008 after a two-year, $65 million renovation. Perched atop Butterfly Beach in Montecito, the private membership club is exclusive to members and registered guests of the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort, who can enjoy full club privileges.

The 4-diamond Harbor View Inn unveils the new Spa Beaumontia in July 2008, offering massage, nail services and the ultimate in facial treatments.

Construction of a 100-bed Youth Hostel near the Santa Barbara Waterfront is now underway. The Fess Parker family has created, and will entirely fund, the non-profit Rodney Shull Memorial Foundation, which will build the youth hostel to meet requirements set forth by the City of Santa Barbara and the Coastal Commission, as part of an agreement for Parker to build a 150-room resort along Cabrillo Boulevard. The hostel is located at 12 East Montecito Street and will be completed in early 2009. Parker’s donation of the value of the hostel project and donated land exceeds $5 million.

Visit for more lodging information.

Matador Tapas Bar and Latin Steak House showcases flavors from Spain and Latin America, including signature Sangrias made from fresh local ingredients.

Named after the world’s hottest chili pepper, Scotch Bonnet serves Spanish style cuisine with a Cuban flair in the Chapala Street space formerly occupied by Sevilla. The restaurant is the result of a new partnership between the owners of Tupelo Junction and Sevilla.

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians recently retained celebrity chef/consultant Bradley Ogden to completely redesign the restaurant located at the tribal-owned Royal Scandinavian Inn in Solvang. The new restaurant will have the Bradley Ogden brand and all that it entails: high quality, signature regional flavor and extraordinary cuisine.

Crush Cakes is Santa Barbara’s first “Cupcakery”, satisfying sweet-teeth with gourmet cupcakes in decadent flavors like Cool Vanilla Bean, Fresh Lime Margarita and Bananas Foster.

Bob Wesley, the former “wine guy” at Lazy Acres Market, opened The Winehound, a wine shop featuring wines from around the globe as well as beers and specialty items.

Hitching Post Winery, the Santa Barbara County winery known for its deliciously balanced Pinot Noirs (not to mention Sideways fame), released their first Merlot since they began making wine in 1979. Owners Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini have come full circle with the three new releases. In 1979 they made their first wine, a Santa Ynez Valley Merlot, crafted to pair with barbequed foods and the wood-fired cuisine of Ostini’s Hitching Post steak restaurant.

Visit to learn more about Santa Barbara’s food and beverage scene.

Allegiant Airlines launched nonstop service between Santa Barbara and Las Vegas three times per week. Allegiant offers low fares on large jets with money saving vacation packages. Amtrak’s Coast Starlight service between Los Angeles and Seattle (with stops in Santa Barbara) re-launched in May with a revamped train and improved 88.9% on-time performance.

Visit the official Santa Barbara County visitor information portal online for complete travel planning resources and exclusive Hot Deals on accommodation and activities.

CONTACT: Shannon Turner Brooks, Director of Communications
Santa Barbara Conference & Visitors Bureau and Film Commission
805.966.9222 x112, sbrooks @

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